Oklahoma Rough Rider: Billy McGinty's Own Story
University of Oklahoma Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 218 pages
When Americans answered the call-to-arms after the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898, a wiry little Oklahoman was in the front ranks. Veteran cowboy Billy McGinty put his horseman's skills to work as one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders and participated in the battle of Las Guasimas, the attack on San Juan Heights, and the siege of Santiago.
Oklahoma Rough Rider recounts McGinty's exploits on the battlefield and later on the stage. It contains his firsthand account of how he began cowboying at fourteen and went on to become a world champion bronco buster. After the Spanish-American War, he performed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and won the Cowboy Hall of Fame's Great Westerner award. Yet his colorful career has remained largely untold—until now.
Editors Jim Fulbright and Albert Stehno provide historical context for McGinty's story—especially his common-soldier's view of the war with Spain as the Rough Riders voyaged from Port Tampa to Cuba and into the heart of battle. When he died at age ninety, McGinty had accomplished many things, but none made him as proud as having served with Roosevelt. McGinty's story, with more than two dozen photographs, takes readers on the charge up San Juan Hill—and on to points West—to attest to his wide-ranging adventures.